バーントーファンの女性たちが目指すもの (チェンカム、パヤオ県、タイ) Exploring their style of “social business”: Baan Tho Fan (Chiangkham, Phayao District, Thailand)



Women in Maetam village produce bags and pouches mostly using herbal-dyed, hand-woven cotton cloths and traditional hill tribe embroideries. Their products are sold in Thailand and Japan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1989年頃、村の貧しい家庭の若い女性たちは性産業へ売られました。これを止め、村で生計を立て、少女たちが進学の機会を得るようにと、メータム村の一人の女性が村の若い女性たちに、洋裁の技術を教えるバーントーファンプロジェクトをはじめました。その後、洋裁の職業訓練を受けた村の女性たちがひきつぎ、1994年、、財団の支援や女性たちの貯えによって作業所を完成させました。

A woman in the village started teaching the sawing skills to young women in 1989. She called it Baan Tho Fan project and aimed to equip girls with vocational skills and increase the opportunities for education to prevent them from being trafficked. Girls in poor families in he village were often sold to the sex industry at that time. Her project was expanded and carried out by the women who were trained by her. The women set up their workshop with support from a foundation and their savings.


The women with the Baan Tho Fan aim to continue engaging in agriculture in their village and contribute to the sustainable development of their community. The additional income through their handicrafts is to support their main livelihood and encourage them to continue agriculture.

yao women

Yao women and their embroideries (Photo by Mari)


They also aim to extend the support to their villagers and further to their neighbor, hill tribe women, mostly Yao women living in mountainous area in the region. The Baan Tho Fan has provided earnings opportunities for Yao women and scholarships to children. The group contributes to preserving the traditional hill tribe embroideries by adding the patterns on their bags.


Their handicrafts have been recognised by the OTOP (One Tumbon (village) One Product) project in Thailand and the Baan Tho Fan was awarded by the Thai newspaper as it “contributed to upholding the traditions through high quality products employing the local knowledge and traditional skills”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA女性たちは生産性、品質、社会還元の間のバランスをとるのに16年間試みてきました。生産性や技術の上達を重視して、『奉仕精神』や『社会貢献』の活動があまりできていなかったのではないかと振り返ります。農業や家事で忙しいときもあります。品質、技術、コンセプトに見合う価格をつけると、国内市場ではまだ理解されず、高すぎてあまり売れません。

The women with the “Baan Tho Fan Group” have been struggling for more than 16 years to find out the balance between profitability, quality of the products and contribution to the local communities. They reflected that they did not do much to raise more awareness on the concept of “voluntarism” and “social work” because they often had to prioritise the improvement of the quality and efficiency in their production. The women also have much work to do in the farm and home. They also felt it difficult to put the competitive price for the domestic market for the value of the quality of the materials, their skills and the concept.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA「私たちの仕事は利益優先ではなく、地域への還元を目指す、『ソーシャルビジネス』といえます。グループ内のメンバーの役割は対等で交代制にしています。」50人のヤオ族女性が作る刺繍を使って、六人の女性が作業所でミシンをふみます。

“We give priority not just to making a profit but to contributing to our society. We aim for a kind of ‘social business’. We take turn to play roles in the group and there is no hierarchy among us.”  Seven women saw the bags in the workshop with various patters of the embroideries brought by 50 hill tribe women.


The members of the Baan Tho Fan during the 15th anniversary celebration in 2011

The women of the Baan Tho Fan is exploring the new design for the bags and selecting the patters of the Yao traditional embroideries to match with the new design.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(メータム村への訪問をコーディネートしてくれた如田真理さんに感謝いたします。如田さんが発行される、『メータム通信』(2011年5月31日) も参考にさせていただきました。)

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Mari Nyota for coordinating my visit to Maetam village and her Maetam Newsletter (May 31, 2011)


漁村の女性たち、ネゴンボラグーン、スリランカ Women in fisheries – Negombo lagoon, Sri Lanka


ナディシャニは28歳、夫、娘一人、息子二人とネゴンボラグーンのほとりに住んでいます。カドルケレという村です。漁業を営んでいます。Nadishani is a 28-year-old woman living at the edge of the Negombo lagoon with her husband and three children.

ネゴンボラグーンは海水と淡水が混じり、淡水魚、えび、かにが取れます。ラグーンを縁取るマングローブが魚を育ててきました。The Negombo lagoon is brackish. The mangrove is the home of freshwater fish, prawns and crabs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA船に乗るのは夫で、ナディシャニは網の手入れなどを行います。一回船を出すと、約2000ルピーになり、そのうち500ルピーは一緒に漁に出るヘルパーに支払われます。最近はガソリンの価格が高騰し、家族はローンに頼らざるを得ません。特に12月は3人の子供たちの学校用品をそろえるのに苦労します。Nadishani mends the fishnets while her husband goes fishing. He used to earn 2000 Rs per trip, of which 500 Rs go to his helper. The price of the fuel has been rising rapidly these days, which makes fisher families difficult to manage. A litter of Kerosene currently costs 120 Sri Lankan Rs, which costed only 40 Rs three years ago. Nadishani’s family has to live on debt. She is worried about the more expenses for her children’s schooling particularly in December.

スリランカのほかの海岸地帯と同様に、ネゴンボラグーンも政府の推し進める観光開発の影響を受けています。2010年、政府は観光のためのシープレーン(sea plane) の発着場をネゴンボラグーンに作ろうとしました。ラグーンのほとりで代々暮らしてきた約1万5家族がボートを停留し、ラグーンに出るための場所を失いました。マングローブもダメージを受けました。As is the case in other coastal areas in Sri Lanka, Negombo lagoon has been affected by the tourism projects, which the Government is aggressively  promoting as post-war development. In 2010, the Government brought the seaplane project in Negombo lagoon, by which 15,000 fishing families lost their land and would affect the more as the project goes and operates. Lagoon mangroves were damaged.

地元の漁民、NGO,教会(ネゴンボは90%がキリスト教徒)など地元の人々は通りで反対行動を繰り広げ、連日船を出し、工事を阻止し、さまざまな活動で反対を表し、ついに政府に譲歩させました。Fisher women and men, NGOs, churches and many others joined the protest actions on the road and lagoon which successfully prevented the Government from moving it forward.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAナディシャニは、漁業を営む女性のグループ、スリビムクティの一員です。シープレーンの反対行動の際には、村のリーダーとして活躍しました。Nadishani was the leader of her village coordinating the protests. She is a member of Sri Vimkhuti Fisher Women’s Organization (SVFWO). SVFWO has expanded with over 1000 women members.  Leaders of SVFWO regularly discuss the issues raised by members in fishing communities.

女性の経済活動を支援しているシスター・アンによると、「女性たちは生計を立てるためのいろんな技術を持っています、ただ、それをはじめるための資金がないのです。」シスターはネゴンボで漁業を営む女性たちの経済支援のプロジェクトを立ち上げました。衣服や手工芸品を作るためのミシンと、製作の場を借りる資金を集めています。ご協力いただける方はブログのコメントを通じてご連絡ください。Sr. Anne, who is a catholic nun actively involved in supporting women and their communities along the lagoon, said, “women can do many things to earn more, but for that we need the capital to start them”. Sr. Anne has started the project which build skills of fisher women in Negombo to earn income through making garment and handicrafts. She is raising support and fund for purchasing sawing machines and renting a house for their workshop. Your responses through sending your comments to this blog are highly appreciated.


“Whose strength? Fisher people’s strength!”

スリビムクティのメンバーは、11月25日ネゴンボでい行われた漁師のラリーに参加しました。参加者は灯油価格の高騰、漁を妨げている警戒立ち入り禁止区域などの問題を提起しました。SVFWO participated in the fisheries day event in Negombo on 25th November (World Fisheries Day is the 21st November). Fisheries unionists voiced their concerns including on the fuel price hike and “high security zones” preventing fisherfolk.

Washed away by the waves – Sri Lanka

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“We used to have a big garden with chilies, potatoes, guava, mango, banana and many coconut trees. All had been washed away”, said Roshanthi.

Coastal erosion occurs over time due to various factors. The research (Eroding Coast – A serious environmental problem,   W. N. Wilson, Department of Georaphy, University of Colombo and S. N. Wickramarate, Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya, the year of publish unknown, http://thakshana.nsf.ac.lk/pdf/VIDURAWA/VIDU_12_1/VIDU%2012_1_7.pdf) considered the natural and human factors which contribute to the coastal erosion. Natural factors include wind factor, coast orientation, littoral drift, compartmentalisation, natural sand supply, lithology, continental shelf topography and sea level changes. Human factors included coral mining, sand mining, destruction of beach-rock, construction and destruction of vegetation. Although the research pointed out the correlation between sea level rise and coastal erosion, it only said “it is not possible to express a definite views on this at present”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is very few information on the sea level rise around Sri Lanka available on line. We may, however, consider the sea level rise as an effect of climate change is one of the important factors prompting the erosion along the coasts of Sri Lanka given the similar cases found around the world.


People in Kalpitiya, like other coastal areas in Sri Lanka, have been seriously affected by the coastal erosion and inundation.kalpitiya map

Most of the fisherfolk in Kalpitiya interviewed by National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) are migrants, have moved from other part of the Kalpitiya peninsula such as Keerimundal due to coastal erosion and inundation.


According to the research conducted by NAFSO, changes in the climate cycles and weather patterns are clearly felt by the fisher women in Kalpitiya, particularly higher sea level during the high tide, unseasonal monsoons and stronger gales.They pointed out that the narrow stretch of sand bar has submerged, which let more water come in towards the shore. They felt water level rises higher particularly during Dec-May (relatively dry season with strong wind in this area).

Since they do not own land in the new place, they filled the shore or wetland with sands and stones to create land and built houses. They built their houses with available materials like coconut leaves, cement brocks, some were built by NGOs. On such fragile land, they are still vulnerable to inundation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWater sometimes rises above the floor level. Some people evacuate to their relatives while some have to remain home staying on the table if there is no other places to go. Children cannot go to school.

The local government did not allow them to stay without permits. People had to fight for it. They have the votes. The villagers feel the local government does nothing for them. Only during the election campaigns they come to give them empty promises.

Some have electricity with regular power cuts. Some don’t but use kerosene lamps. Some even do not have a lamp.

There is a private owned water tank built in the community. Villagers have to pay 3-400 Rs or more per month for drinking water.

There is no toilet at home but communal ones. Without proper toilet it is difficult particularly when the area gets flooded. They buy firewood from the shops for cooking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAccording to the report by NAFSO, women’s lack of property ownership in the family is hindrance for social progress of women in the society. Some of the laws and traditional customary practices prevent women from owning the family properties when there are men in the family. No legal deeds of land ownership for women. None of the boat out of 4109 with outboard motors is owned by women in Kalpitiya.

Another serious issue affecting fisherfolk in Kalpitiya is the construction of the tourist attractions such as hotels and resort compound with private beach, which often grabbed the land from the local fisherfolk without consultation process and just compensation. For more on this issue, please see:

Shinakudripu, Kalpitiya

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALauna Meuri Farida is 60 years old with five children and husband (one child died earlier). Her family moved from Keerimundal in the 90s. Her house was built by an NGO.

Her husband used to go fishing but after he had his eyes operated, he makes and mends nets instead. She used to dry fish but due to the fish price increase, (she used to buy and make dry fish to sell) she makes and mends the fishing nets, too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPatricia is 28 years old with four children and husband. Her family moved from Keerimundal in the 90s due to the coastal erosion. “There are very few families left there. There were 650 families but now only 25 families left”, she said.

She and her husband used to go to the market and cut fish but now she has a small child. She cooks breakfast and sell to pupils and students. She gets up at around 3-4 am, takes care of her baby and prepares the breakfast to sell. After selling breakfast, she sends her children to school, prepares lunch, does all other house work, prepares for tomorrow’s cooking (grinding fish, etc.), prepares dinner, and around at 9-10pm goes to bed.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARoshanthi Fernando’s family is originally from Keerimundal, which is located on the peninsula. She shared her memory of Keerimundal. “It used to be a big and beautiful village with many big houses and churches. It was covered with many coconut trees. Her family used to live here for generations but moved to Kalpitiya in 1993. It was difficult in Keerimundal to access to hospitals, schools and other facilities most of which are located in the Kalpitiya town across the lagoon, no water facilities available. The sea water often inundated her house, which destroyed the houses built  by her great grand father and rebuilt by her grand father. The navy and the LTTE were also present there.



The sandy stretch of the area has been washed by the waves from Indian Ocean on one side and the lagoon on the other.

Mary Teresa Laten, Rosaline Dayas  and Arole Mary are among the few who remain in Uchimunai engaging in dry fishing and cutting fish, but many families have already left.


Roshanthi (left), Mary Teresa and Arole (right)

They are members of women’s association, Holy Cross Women’s  Society, which Roshanthi coordinates. Members discuss and manage the problems they face in their daily life collectively. They are also involved in mangrove reconstruction, income generation such as making fishing nets.  They have recently started exploring handicraft making using natural materials such as coconut husks, leaves of Palmyra Palm and reusing other wasted materials.




Damayanthi’s Family

Coastal erosion has been experienced by the fishing communities in Kalutara, southwest coast of Sri Lanka, too. “This beach used to be wider, had more land”, Damayanthi recalled. 250 fisher people go fishing from this beach. “There used to be houses on the shore, but all gone”, said Damayanthi.


The resent article tells a similar story: “Little concern for sea erosion in Kandakuliya”, The Sunday Times, December 2, 2012, http://www.sundaytimes.lk/121202/news/little-concern-for-sea-erosion-in-kandakuliya-22954.html